Each strand of the renewable energy solution may be a little ragged, but weave them together, and you have a rope fit for climbing out of the pit of fossil fuel dependency. That's what Hydro Tasmania is looking to achieve with its King Island Renewable Energy Project (KREIP), which blends sun, wind, biodiesel and storage to an intelligent grid, making a coherent clean energy whole.
This small island, halfway between Australia and Tasmania, may be home to only 2,000 people, but its small size makes it an ideal testbed for developing real-world clean energy solutions. The goal of KREIP is to get 65% of energy demand satisfied by solar PV and a new wind farm.
But because the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine, the Project is putting in place Australia's largest battery bank.That will store excess energy for use when the elements are less productive. And the innovation doesn't stop there. A dynamic demand-response system aims to shave off those troublesome peaks of demand.
It may see King Island completely freed from burning oil some of the time. Already fuel use has been cut by nearly half. But more than that, King Islanders are pointing the way to our energy future. Hydro Tasmania's chief told
Energy Matters: "this is the first remote system on this scale capable of supplying the
energy needs of an entire community primarily through wind and solar